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Abstract

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States. At the time of diagnosis, most patients are older than 65 years and have Stage III or IV disease. More than 80% of patients have non-small cell lung cancer and the rest have small cell lung cancer. Age is not a significant prognostic factor for overall survival and response to treatment for patients with either type of lung cancer. Treatment options should be tailored to older patients based on the same selection process and benefits seen in the population as a whole. This article reviews the available data regarding surgery, radiation, and systemic treatment for older patients with lung cancer and considers the role of geriatric assessment in the evaluation of older patients.